Newsletter - September 2016

If you wonder why rising income doesn’t seem to provide much bang for the buck (pun intended), as the graph below shows, you can blame the subtle erosion of inflation. I doubt many investors realize that, in real dollars, median household income is just slightly less than it was 16 years ago in 2000.

Of course, it could be much worse. I can’t imagine how Venezuelans deal with their inflation. From the New York Times:

“While most advanced economies struggle to lift inflation, none would want Venezuela’s situation: Consumer-price inflation is forecast to hit 480% this year and top 1,640% in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund.”

I do my part drinking wine, but obviously it’s not enough for the U.S. to compete with France. According to a story in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, the city that drinks the most wine (surprise) is Paris, “…with 690 million bottles guzzled each year, almost 14 gallons (71 bottles) for each man, woman and child.” That’s some guzzling! Buenos Aires is a distant second with 457 million bottles (8.5 gallons/person). New York City and L.A. are pikers on the board at 301 million bottles and 241 million bottles, respectively.